Japanese cinema flourished early on and silent films were being made right through the 1930s. Most were accompanied by a 'benshi' or live narrator telling the story as well as live music. Very little survives from this era however; the 1923 earthquake, the bombings of WW2 and the country's high humidity destroyed many of these historical works. Of those that survive, the early works of Kenji Mizoguchi are highly regarded and he went on to make the classic 'The Life of Oharu' in 1952. Of course no discussion on Japanese cinema is possible without mention of their best known son, Akira Kurosawa. With a career spanning 60 years Kurosawa's ground-breaking films (e.g. 'Seven Samurai', 'Kagemusha', 'Ran') influenced film makers around the world. Most recently Japanese cinema hero 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano revitalised the Yakuza genre; and young mavericks like Takashi Miike ('Audition', 'Ichi the Killer) and Hideo Nakata ('Ring', 'Dark Water') have breathed new life into the horror flick, their films often (and promptly!) remade by US production houses. For Japanime, use the animation link to the left. Pictured: Kurosawa teamed once more with the incomparable Toshiro Mifune for 'Seven Samurai'
Three of Asia's hottest directors join forces for this horror triple. Hong Kong's Fruit Chan, Korea's Park Chan-wook and Japan's Takashi Miike each co... Read more